Healthier fast food for kids?


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Since our report Wednesday morning that a group of 19 restaurants -- Burger King being the biggest among them -- had pledged to offer healthier kids’ meals, the response has ranged from highly supportive to highly skeptical.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has weighed in to say that the campaign is little more than a public relations stunt because restaurants will only have to offer one healthy meal and one healthy side dish in order to participate.


But a mom wrote to thank the restaurants, saying that her child suffers from Type 1 Diabetes, and would benefit from kids’ meals with fruit, vegetables and lean meats, as the program requires. Another reader wrote to say that she has struggled with obesity all her life, and says finances play a big part because fast food is so cheap.

‘I think that the number one problem that is causing childhood obesity is that it costs so much more to eat healthy,’ she wrote. ‘It is cheaper to buy a huge bag of frozen French fries to feed your family than it is to buy them each a nice apple. Us lower and middle class people are stuck between a rock and a hard spot.’

Missing from the group of restaurants promising to do more: McDonald’s. A spokeswoman said that the company already offers healthful options for adults and children.

So...P.R. stunt, or important first step? What do you think?

Sharon Bernstein


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